August 5,2014

PE Hub

Addressing the challenges in medical innovation

A big part of National Venture Capital Association’s role as the flagship trade association of the venture capital industry is to tell the venture story in Washington, D.C., and connect the dots for policymakers so that they understand the unique and irreplaceable role venture plays in the innovation economy.

It’s our job to be on the front lines to remind policymakers that their decisions don’t occur within a vacuum. There are real life consequences, both good and bad, for the decisions they make each and every day.

NVCA and its members continue to spend a lot of time educating lawmakers on Capitol Hill of the sobering reality that the U.S. could be in jeopardy of losing its foothold as the world’s leader in drug and medical device innovation.

Recently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched a legislative effort to ensure that the U.S. biopharmaceutical and medical device industry is best equipped to maintain its global leadership and develop life-saving cures and therapies for patients.

Called “The 21st Century Cures Call to Action,” this unique, bi-partisan effort is a testament to the fact that the U.S. Congress is listening to the concerns of the venture community and is actively engaging with NVCA and other industry stakeholders to address this important issue.

As a first step, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health convened a hearing on June 11 where NVCA members Mike Carusi (Advanced Technology Ventures) and Alexis Borisy (Third Rock Ventures), testified on the lagging state of investment in life sciences companies, and outlined some ways to reduce regulatory complexity and encourage venture investment in innovative medical companies.

In their testimonies, Mike and Alexis made clear that the life sciences industry is at a crossroads. Over the past three decades, the development of revolutionary medical innovation has been driven by small, entrepreneurial companies often funded by venture capital. However, recently we’ve been witnessed venture investors retreating from companies focused on medical innovation.

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